ILGWU. Legal Department records

Collection Number: 5780/107

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
ILGWU. Legal Department records, 1958-1980
Collection Number:
5780/107
Creator:
Siems, Frederick Rolle, 1915- International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
Quantity:
5 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Articles, reprints, pamphlets, correspondence, photographs.
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
The collection contains files relating to the ILGWU's organizing and legal activities surrounding the Kellwood Company at several of its divisions throughout the southern United States through court documents, correspondence, clippings, organizing leaflets, and accounts and interviews of the strike.
Language:
Collection material in English


ILGWU ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

Founded in 1900 by local union delegates representing about 2,000 members in cities in the northeastern United States, the ILGWU grew in geographical scope, membership size, political influence to become one of the most powerful forces in American organized labor by mid-century. Representing workers in the women's garment industry, the ILGWU worked to improve working and living conditions of its members through collective bargaining agreements, training programs, health care facilities, cooperative housing, educational opportunities, and other efforts. In 1995, the ILGWU merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) to form the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE).

LEGAL DEPARTMENT ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

From very early on in its existence, the ILGWU had need for legal counsel, and this was handled in the union’s main offices in cooperation with hired attorneys. As the union grew and especially after the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947, the union found cause to establish a Legal Department. The department provided general legal counsel to the union and its affiliates, worked to develop collective bargaining agreement terms, and represented the ILGWU in litigation and arbitration. After the formation of the Master Agreements Department in 1965, the responsibilities for developing CBA terms shifted to the new department.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The Legal Department records do not comprehensively document the ILGWU legal activities, instead focusing on specific cases or series of cases.
Two ILGWU cases are documented in the Legal Department records. The first case involved the Kellwood Corporation, and the second involved the Donnelly Garment Company. The records relating to the Kellwood case (5780/107, 5780/107 AV, 5780/107 P) include court documents, correspondence and memoranda, surveys of strikers, organizing leaflets and newsletters (from both the union and the company), Steve Honeyman's draft accounts of the strike, audio and transcripts of Honeyman's interviews with ILGWU members and staff, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other printed material. The Donnelly Garment Company's case against the ILGWU is documented primarily through transcripts of the case, legal briefs, and related court documents.
Records on series of cases are the most general and extensive of the Legal Department records. They include records on ILGWU cases in the U.S. courts (5780/081), records documenting cases before the National War Labor Board (5780/085), and records relating to a wide variety contract negotiations, arbitration proceedings, and courts cases (5780/063).
Researchers may find complementary material in the other parts of the ILGWU records, such as the papers of the international leadership, especially the papers of ILGWU presidents (Series IV); the records of local unions in instances where these affiliates were involved in litigation or arbitration (Series III); and the collective bargaining agreements (Series VI). Related collections at the Kheel Center include decisions of the Coat and Suit Industry's Impartial Chairman (6036/015) and decisions of the Dress Industry's Impartial Chairman (6036/017).
In the Legal Department records (5780/107), the collection contains files relating to the ILGWU's organizing and legal activities surrounding the Kellwood Company at several of its divisions throughout the southern United States (Little Rock, Arkansas; Lonoke, Arkansas; Brownsville, Kentucky; and Greenfield, Tennessee). In addition to court documents and correspondence and memoranda relating to the ILGWU's legal cases, these records contain documentation of the Kellwood strike, including surveys of strikers, organizing leaflets and newsletters (from both the union and the company), and newspaper clippings on the strike. Also includes Steve Honeyman's draft accounts of the strike, transcripts of his interviews with ILGWU members and staff who participated in the strike, as well as working materials from the negotiations between the ILGWU and Kellwood. Organizing leaflets from other shops in Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Texas are also included.
SUBJECTS

Names:
Siems, Frederick Rolle, 1915-
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Legal Dept.

Subjects:
Women's clothing industry--United States
Labor unions--Clothing workers--United States.
Clothing workers--United States.
Industrial relations--United States.
Labor laws and legislation--United States.

Form and Genre Terms:
Records.


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
ILGWU. Legal Department records #5780/107. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related Collections:
5780: ILGWU records
5780/107 AV: ILGWU. Legal Department audio-visual materials
5780/107 P: ILGWU. Legal Department photographs
5780/081: ILGWU. Legal Department records
5780/063: ILGWU. Legal Department records
5780/162: ILGWU. Legal Department. Donnelly Garment Company v. ILGWU records

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1 1967-1980
Box 1 Folder 2 1978-1980
Box 1 Folder 3
Box 1 Folder 4 1976
Box 1 Folder 5 1976-1979
Box 1 Folder 6 1971
Box 1 Folder 7 1971
Box 1 Folder 8 1972-1973
Box 1 Folder 9 1972-1973
Box 1 Folder 10 1974
Box 1 Folder 11 1973-1976
Box 1 Folder 12 1973-1976
Box 1 Folder 13 1968-1973
Box 1 Folder 14 1961-1973
Box 1 Folder 15 1971
Box 1 Folder 16 1971
Box 1 Folder 17 1971
Box 1 Folder 18 1968-1974
Box 2 Folder 1 1966-1971
Box 2 Folder 2 1970-1972
Box 2 Folder 3 1967-1972
Box 2 Folder 4 1972
Box 2 Folder 5 1973
Box 2 Folder 6 1966-1977
Box 2 Folder 7 1971-1974
Box 2 Folder 8 1965-1966
Box 2 Folder 9 1971-1972
Box 2 Folder 10 1970
Box 2 Folder 11 1967
Box 2 Folder 12 1967
Box 2 Folder 13 1978
Box 2 Folder 14 1976
Box 2 Folder 15 1971-1978
Box 2 Folder 16 1969-1970
Box 2 Folder 17 1966-1970
Box 2 Folder 18 1967-1968
Box 2 Folder 19 1967-1968
Box 2 Folder 20 1968
Box 2 Folder 21 1968
Box 2 Folder 22 1966
Box 2 Folder 23 1965
Box 2 Folder 24 1958-1960
Box 2 Folder 25
Box 2 Folder 26 1974
Box 2 Folder 27 1977
Box 2 Folder 28 1976
July 22, 1976
Box 2 Folder 29 1967
Box 2 Folder 30 1967
Box 2 Folder 31 1976
Box 2 Folder 32 1965-1966
Box 3 Folder 1 1965-1966
Box 3 Folder 2 1966
Box 3 Folder 3 1967
Box 3 Folder 4 1965-1966
Box 3 Folder 5 1965-1971
Box 3 Folder 6 1965-1967
Box 3 Folder 7 1966-1973
Box 3 Folder 8 1972-1973
Box 3 Folder 9
Box 3 Folder 10 1971
Box 3 Folder 11 1971
Box 3 Folder 12 1966-1972
Box 3 Folder 13 1972-1973
Box 3 Folder 14 1967-1969
Box 3 Folder 15 1967-1969
Box 4 Folder 1 1966
Box 4 Folder 2 1966-1967
Box 4 Folder 3 1967-1968
Box 4 Folder 4 1968-1970
Box 4 Folder 5 1967
Box 4 Folder 6 1967
Box 4 Folder 7 1967
Box 4 Folder 8 1967
Box 4 Folder 9 1967
Box 4 Folder 10 1966-1967
Box 4 Folder 11 1966-1967
Box 4 Folder 12 1966-1967
Box 4 Folder 13 1966
Box 4 Folder 14
Box 4 Folder 15 1966-1967
Box 4 Folder 16 1966-1976
Box 4 Folder 17 1959-1970
Little Rock, Arkansas
Box 4 Folder 18 1965-1967
Box 4 Folder 19 1965-1966
Box 4 Folder 20 1965-1966
Box 5 Folder 1 1965-1966
Box 5 Folder 2 1965-1966
Box 5 Folder 3 1965-1966
Box 5 Folder 4 1966-1967
Box 5 Folder 5 1966-1968
Box 5 Folder 6 1966-1967
Box 5 Folder 7 1967-1968
Box 5 Folder 8 1966-1967
Box 5 Folder 9 1966-1967
Box 5 Folder 10 1966-1967
Box 5 Folder 11 1966
Box 5 Folder 12 1966
Box 5 Folder 13 1967-1968
Box 5 Folder 14 1965-1978
Box 5 Folder 15
Box 5 Folder 16
Box 5 Folder 17
Box 5 Folder 18
Box 5 Folder 19
Box 5 Folder 20
Box 5 Folder 21
Box 5 Folder 22
Box 5 Folder 23
Box 5 Folder 24
Box 5 Folder 25
Box 5 Folder 26 1976
Box 5 Folder 27
Box 5 Folder 28 1976
Box 5 Folder 29
Box 5 Folder 30 1976